Cie Philippe Saire
Av. de Sévelin 36
1004 Lausanne

in permanent residency at Théâtre Sévelin 36

+41 21 620 00 12 info@philippesaire.ch



Cie Philippe Saire
Av. de Sévelin 36
1004 Lausanne

in permanent residency at Théâtre Sévelin 36

+41 21 620 00 12 info@philippesaire.ch


Impostures spectacle ×

Première at Théâtre Sévelin 36, May 9th, 2001. Soli for 5 or 8 dancers.

In 2001, Philippe Saire and the Company’s eight dancers have been working on two new productions: Impostures and Les Affluents. The two works are each a part of the same self-questioning process, an interrogation into identity, restlessness, risk-taking, and the difficulty of asserting our personality in the troubled world around us.


A series of portraits by solo dancers
A glimpse of each character’s intimate, personal world
Meetings of the dancers with the characters they portray
Rôle-playing to reveal the face behind the mask
Impostures to show the real self

A stage performance is itself an imposture, an assumed existence, an allegory of our daily pretences. During a few moments under the spotlights, the characters are revealed face-to-face with their time, and forced to take on all the contradictions making up their identity. Each character inhabits a personal world, with personal needs and frustrations: need for recognition, longing for a Prince Charming, search for approval, failure to love. Utopia is ever out of reach, and the portraits of the stage characters bring home to us why this must always be so.

A solo performance is a very special experience. In a way, the performer floats above an abyss, because every support, every fulcrum, must be found in the body itself. Forced momentarily to suppress all trace of self-doubt the soloist, whether in dance or theatre, touches on what, for me, is the heart of what we call interpretation: a revelation of the very essence of the character. Impostures brings us right into the blurred, shifting zone between the character and the interpreter, between the stated and the implied, the true and the imagined. It is an attempt to describe, in the language of dance, a character and the influence of this character on a plot. The description differs from that of stage drama, by relying for its effectiveness on movement alone.

One of the aims of Impostures is to give prominence to the dancers who over many years have turned my ideas into performances, allowing each to weave intricate links with the others. Despite our close exchanges over many months, their solos are more their constructions than mine. Each in their own way, the dancers express the self-questioning process that is the central theme of this work. Impostures also shows different modes of communication: between the dancers and the characters they portray; between the dancers themselves; between the dancers and the audience. As a prelude to the performance, the audience is divided into eight groups outside the hall. Each group is accompanied by a dancer, who introduces them in a personalized way to the work they are about to see. The “special relationship” thus set up will allow a more perceptive vision of the “frontier” between the dancers whom the spectators have met, and the characters they portray.

Philippe Saire, choreographer

Philippe Saire pays tribute to his dancers
Eight soloists, eight dancers – Impostures is a gallery of delicious portraits, as finely cut as precious jewels. With this new work, Philippe Saire lifts a corner of the veil concealing the eight dancers’ personal selves. This is in part a tribute, but above all it has represented a challenge which must have been highly demanding. Watching these small solos, we can appreciate the effort and energy deployed by the dancers to hold the us fast in our seats, to surprise and captivate us. Each dance fully succeeds; where one performer might prefer to show an extrovert leaning, another will reveal part of himself in the form of a riddle, with a piece of music, say, or an item of the stage set, as a clue to his private personality. Sun-Hye Hur is sublime in a solo using a huge kitchen knife. And when Nabih Amaraoui, as a wanderer, unpacks his bag full of shoes and the spotlights seem pitilessly to pin him against the wall, we feel immediately his fragility, both in the stage rôle and in his own life as a dancer. The strength of these eight solos grows from their freshness, and from their astonishing ability to mix humour and erotism, nostalgia and the joy of living.

Anna Hohler, Le Temps (CH) 2001

Postures et impostures
Philippe Saire entrusts action and speech – and interpretation of the choreography – exclusively to his eight dancers in turn. With success: a simple figure eloquently expresses arrogance, for example, or narcissism, indifference, humour or deceit. But then the mood changes: the dance movements become contrived, hesitant, the mask falls away, the wig and costume are removed; the stage posture disappears and the dancer is seen as…an impostor. An impostor whose laughter has faded, who attempts once more to fulfill the role, who speaks one last time to implore us, and finally dies. Each of the eight choreographies is a confession, from which we take home especially the black humour of Nicholas Pettit, the self-absorption of Manuel Chabanis, the cynicism of Sun-Hye Hur and the maturity of the performance of Corinne Rochet. Philippe Saire’s latest work is a fascinating spectacle, with perhaps a certain unevenness in the magnetizing power of the eight solos of which it is composed.

Chantal Bellon, l’Hebdo (CH) 2001

Philippe Saire

Nabih Amaraoui, Matthieu Burner, Manuel Chabanis, Anne Delahaye, Juan Vincente Gonzalez, Sun-Hye Hur, Nicholas Pettit, Corinne Rochet

Julien Sulser

Set design
Massimo Furlan

Corinne Rochet

Isa Boucharlat, Nadia Cuénod

Theater contributor
Hélène Cattin

Make-up and hairdressing
Léticia Rochaix

Set production
Samuel Galley

Technical director
Jean-Jacques Schenk


Past dates

Lausanne (CH)
Rabat (MA)
Casablanca (MA)
Verscio (CH)